I had this thing sitting on my computer for… maybe almost a year now. I'm kind of just sick of looking at it. Hopefully it's still a decent read, it was going to be a bit more deep but somehow faltered half-way and I began to lose interest.
By: Emo Fox
Dib stood on the bridge of the Massive, his long arms stretched over the railing as he slouched, staring sightlessly at the expanse of stars just outside the ship's domed windshield.
Below, countless drones busied themselves with their menial tasks; the humming of machinery mixed with the insistent 'clacking' of keys becoming a white noise in the back of Dib's consciousness.
It was usually quiet up on the bridge, allowing him to gather some time to himself, to just survey the world around him. It had been too many years since Earth; he could barely remember what it even felt like to be on a solid planet, let alone how warm the sun used to feel on his skin.
His skin had become a sickly white, nearly translucent due to the lack of sunlight; his pigmentation nearly bleached from his skin, the artificial lighting not benefiting him at all. Dark bruise-like shadows hung under his honey-colored eyes, dimming their natural intense glow.
It wasn't that Dib hated space, or mentally rejected it, but his body didn't seem capable of lengthy space travel. He was finding it obvious why humans shouldn't be submerged in endless darkness, the winking of stars almost maddening because there didn't seem to be an end to them. Dib couldn't keep a proper sleep regime with the lacking of natural night and day, and even though food was abundant on the ship he often found he wasn't capable of eating.
With the additional lack of human contact Dib was becoming a little more introverted than he used to be, and he almost began resenting his time on the Massive, wishing for the days of sunshine and endless responsibilities he had back on Earth.
Sure, there were plenty of souls on the ship; but foreign green faces and huge insect-like eyes were nothing to compare to familiar human features(disregarding the fact that no one on Earth had even liked him, he still missed seeing his own species).
Staring out at the endless stars and the inky darkness of the universe made Dib feel that much more alone. Earth no longer existed out there; there was no home to ever go back to.
It wasn't even like he made this choice, or that he wanted this. The world had ended by Zim's hand, accelerated due to the Irken's ideals; though Zim had spared the time to scoop him up into space and save him from doom. But, it hadn't been so much saving as it had been gloating, ranting on and on about how Dib deserved a far more planned-out death.
At the time Dib had been shocked and furious; revenge had felt necessary, and he used to dream of gutting Zim in front of all the other Irkens on the ship. But eventually, after weeks on end of being stuck in storage(for his lack of compliance) he had finally given in to Zim; starved for any positive attention, just wanting something to latch onto in this sea of uncertainty, he bent to Zim's will.
Earth was gone, everything he used to know no longer existed; but Zim still lived and breathed, and he became further swayed by the understanding that Zim was the only one he could consider a friend, the only one who he could still sort of identify with, Dib found himself opening up to the Irken and the plot of revenge lay forgotten.
He remembered he used to dream of space travel as a child, of finding his own alien best friend and running away to far away planets that would make him their king.
Dib let out a tired sigh.
The reality wasn't anything like the childish fantasies he dreamed. He never thought Earth would just be gone, he never thought his body would reject space as much as it did, he never thought in a million years he'd wish to view a video recording of his father or get soda doused on him by his sister.
It was funny what you remembered, and what you missed when it was all gone.
"Um," A squeaky high-pitched voice broke Dib's concentration, "My Taller, Tallest Zim is requesting you."
Dib didn't move from his spot, his eyes still trained on the stars, "If he wants to see me he can find me himself."
Mir hopped nervously back and forth on her feet, her curled antennae perked forward in an obvious show of submission as she stared up at the towering form of Dib. She wrung her little hands before she finally darted to his side, attempting to gain his attention, "B-But sir," She insisted, fearing the wrath of Zim far more than she feared Dib, "The Tallest—"
"Fine." Dib snapped, not upset with Mir, but just upset in general. However, he wasn't so much of a prick like Zim to take out his anger on the little drones; they were only doing their job. "I'll go," He said in a gentler tone though didn't glance down at the green-eyed drone, "You can leave now."
"Yes my Taller." She squeaked, her tone flitting happily as she ran down the steps of the bridge to join the mass of workers below.
He pushed himself away from the railing, a frown tugging his lips. Zim had given him the highest title he could give, and he was grateful for it, but at the same time not so much. He wasn't so much an equal, as much as he was considered a subordinate to Zim. Dib had respect from smaller Irkens, as well as the high-ranking officials, but he was still human, and technically an inch shorter than Zim so he'd never rule as Tallest alongside his enemy.
But, being Taller was better than being a prisoner, and a hundred times better than being a slave(which Zim had threatened him with before); so Dib decided to just take what he got.
Even if it meant he had to jump when he was called.
Dib started down the steps towards the raised platform above the workers. Moving onward he followed the path down the array of hallways towards the throne room. When he first stepped foot in these halls it had been a bitch to navigate; but years of wandering had ingrained the layout into his brain and by now he knew every nook and cranny of the ship.
He raised his hand and the sliding door hissed open, allowing him passage into the massive round space. In the center on a raised platform sat two imposing see-through chairs. One was occupied by Zim, the other left vacant for himself. At the base of the platform sat a little under twenty communication drones, fiddling with their keyboards as they sifted through this and that; figuring which transmissions were from Invaders and which were foreign. Beyond that was a domed window much like the one Dib had been viewing out of earlier; yet splashed across it were countless translucent pink squares – some holding Irken text, others holding maps with Irken flags dotted here and there.
It was obvious Zim was busy plotting out more territories to conquer, that seemed to be his favorite thing to do.
At the rate Zim was forcing the Irkens across the universe Dib was fearful there might be no other free races left by the end of his rule. Zim didn't wallow in luxury like the Tallests' past, he had more of a militant mind; and with the proper army at his beck and call he seemed a lot more competent these days than he had been on Earth.
Dib didn't make a move toward the center, instead remaining by the door, wondering if Zim was even aware he had come in. "What do you want?" He said blandly, his voice carrying across the spacious room.
A few drones stopped their movements to glance towards Dib; still unused to the dead language called 'English', it always threw them off; especially when they had other languages to decipher.
Zim's left antennae twitched to Dib's voice, obviously irritated, "Where have you been?" Zim snapped, raising his laser pointer as he clicked this and that on the large glass screen.
"I asked you a question first." Dib said stubbornly, finally making a move towards the center of the room, stepping up the two stairs before he made his way to his chair. He sunk into the rigid thing, slouching his gangly body across the armrests and looking none-too-pleased to be there. The blue and black robes pooled in his lap and whispered down across the floor, the mess of them annoying to walk around in, like he was wearing some formal skirt.
Zim frowned, his red eyes narrowed as he 'clicked' off his laser pen and turned his glare on Dib, "I've set a course for Silva, I think that planet will be a good one for," Zim waved his hand carelessly, "Something. It's big, and one sweep should be enough to kill all the icky things living on it."
Dib stared off towards the maps on the screen, assuming the one high-lighted in yellow was the planet they had a course for. Dib should have known Zim just called him to gloat about his recent plot. After all, Zim had done that since as long as he's known him; always goading him with a new plan, almost giving him an opening to foil it.
But, it wasn't about catching Zim anymore; there was no Earth to save or fellow humans to help.
Now he was merely an observer to mass murder, and the notion was starting to sit ill with him.
Of course he had witnessed enough eradication in his time on the Massive to have been desensitized by now from it, he should have been immune to it anyway, but somehow every time Zim told him of who they were going to kill or what they were going to take over; Dib found it hard to force his conscience to stay silent.
"You don't even know what you want the planet for?"
Zim shrugged, "I'll figure it out." He murmured, staring back ahead again, "One more planet for the Empire." His lips twitched into a conceited smirk.
Dib frowned, flicking his gold eyes to his fellow leader, "Don't you think you should at least think it through? I mean, if you are going to kill them, they should at least die for a good reason, shouldn't they?" He said, a bite of irritation bleeding into his words.
Zim glanced to Dib, his antennae pulling back just slightly as he attempted to understand the human's mood. It wasn't unusual for Dib to flare up like this, he had been doing it a lot lately – too much lately actually, it was beginning to get on Zim's nerves. Stupid humans and their useless emotions. "They're dying for the Empire, that's a good enough reason."
"No it isn't." Dib said, indignant, feeling the compliant mask finally beginning to slip.
Zim's claws gripped the arm rests of his chair, having just enough mind to keep appearance with the communication drones present, "What are you saying then?" Zim said, that same smirk on his lips, his words flitting into a usual arrogant drawl; taunting Dib to speak his mind so he could shoot down whatever foolish idea the human might be cooking up in that large head of his.
Dib wanted to protest the entire idea of conquest, but this wasn't the place for that; but he couldn't help that it was beginning to feel like Earth all over again. Countless lives wasted on the whim of an Irken, power-hungry and ignorant to the lives of others. It just didn't seem right, it never did, but seeing the plans before his eyes and having the ability to stop it before it happened; it forced that long-dead fire of rivalry to burn back up again.
He could save another planet, other lives, where he had been powerless to save his own race.
"I'm leaving." Dib said icily, gaining himself before he went on a tirade that would only hurt his own cause with the drones listening to their every word. He got up out of his seat with a practiced ease as he started towards the door.
Dib didn't get far before Zim stalked after him, his clawed hand gripping Dib's wrist with lightening speed; forcing the man to turn to him, his opposite arm snaking around his back to keep him firm against him, "You aren't going anywhere." Zim said in a low hostile tone, though his lips still perked in that god awful smirk.
Dib glared hotly at the Irken, wondering if he had finally gone insane. Such physical contact was taboo to portray in a room full of Irkens. However, Dib was having trouble caring about appearances with Zim's face so close to his, his narrowed eyes just taunting him with their arrogant glow.
Without warning Dib's free hand shot up and punched Zim hard in the face; the Irken flinched from the contact but he didn't fall away, still holding Dib despite the human's wants, "Let me go." Dib snapped, finding some satisfaction in the welling bruise developing just under Zim's right eye.
The entire room was silent, the resonate 'snap' of fist meeting Irken flesh had stunned the drones into a collective audience. All eyes were trained on the duo in the center of the room, antennae perked to attention as if awaiting the order to throw Taller Dib out the airlock.
However, such an order didn't come; instead Zim grabbed at Dib's other wrist, locking both his arms against his chest as he forced their legs to tangle. It was an awkward pose, but it guaranteed there would be no more punching or kicking, "Such a foolish stupid dirt child," Zim hissed, his head leaning close to Dib's ear, "You still know nothing of how things work."
Dib tried to jerk his head away from Zim, but the Irken merely followed. He sucked in a quick breath when he felt Zim's lips brush his ear, causing an unwanted heat to flush over his face, "You still don't give a shit about anyone but yourself." Dib managed out, though his tone wasn't as strong as before.
"That's where you're wrong," Zim said easily, "I care about the Empire."
Dib's muscles tensed as he tried to yank his arms free, trying to struggle away but it was no use. Zim trumped him in strength, and when the Irken wanted to, he could easily retain the upper hand, "The Empire," Dib ground out childishly, "All you want to do is own everything."
"If you haven't noticed Dib," Zim quipped, flicking his gaze to Dib's profile, "We live on the Massive, I rule over the Irkens, and you are just as dependant on my power as everyone else here." Zim finally released the human, shoving him back away from him; finding pleasure in sight of Dib stumbling, though the lanky man didn't fall, "I think you need to figure where your loyalties lie." He finished before he turned and stalked back to his seat.
Dib felt embarrassed and exposed, pissed off that Zim had so easily dismissed him. But, Zim's words stung, and he felt torn. It was true that this was more or less his home now, his make-shift planet, and these fellow Irkens were now all he had. Hindering conquest merely crippled the Armada, but at the same time, innocents were dying because of Zim.
It just felt wrong.
Without another word Dib turned from the scene, needing to cool off, to go somewhere and clear his head.
He stomped down the winding hallways, making his way up the grand stairs back towards the bridge. However, before he could reach his usual place of relaxation a feminine voice hit his ears, "Taller Dib!"
Dib paused in his step, letting out an irritated sigh – maybe he should have just gone back to his room. Slowly he turned, his amber eyes falling on the form of a rather tall female Irken; her slim figure accented by the pink robes she wore, her red-pink eyes following his every move as she bridged the gap between them.
It was just Tenn.
Apparently she used to be an invader back when Red and Purple still ruled; though, for reasons Dib wasn't all too clear on, she pursued another venture just before Zim took up the reigns of the Empire. Her height had allowed her to pursue just about anything she wanted, she was usually pleasant.
"I'm sorry to bother," She murmured, hugging the clipboard to her chest, "Tallest Zim isn't taking anyone right now, but I needed an opinion—"
"I'm not taking anyone either," Dib cut her off, waving his hand, "Another time?"
Tenn frowned just slightly, her brow furrowing, "It'll only take a second…" She pressed.
Dib turned, starting up the steps towards the bridge, his bright eyes trained on the stars, "Not right now." He said firmly.
Any other Irken would have been obligated to leave, to follow Dib's order, but Tenn had special privileges, she was advisor to the Tallest after all, "Taller Dib," She murmured, slowly trailing up the steps after him, "Is something troubling you?"
He set his hands up on the rail, not wanting to discuss his thoughts with her, they were too all over the place; and that aside, anything said against the Empire would get back to Zim. He lowered his gaze, following the curve of the window, "Does the Empire have any enemies?"
Tenn's antennae flicked forward at the question, her lips pursing as she tried to muster a response, "Well, of course we have enemies." She murmured easily.
"I mean," Dib started, "Any pressing ones, someone who could destroy the Empire?"
She kept her eyes trained on Dib's back, but the subject threw up a red flag and she hesitated, "Why are you interested in our enemies?"
Dib shrugged nonchalantly, "Just curious." He said simply, "Shouldn't I know if people are plotting to destroy us?"
"Of course," Tenn bowed her head, chiding herself for her foolishness; He might be an alien, but he gave her no reason to doubt his loyalty, "The Resisty is the only one I have on record of being even a remote threat to us."
Tenn took a place at Dib's side, her soft pink eyes surveying his expression, "Just an assorted group of alien terrorists; mostly Vortian."
Dib clucked his tongue, mulling over his newfound information, "Does Zim know?"
Tenn's antennae twitched, "He does," She paused, shifting her weight as she adjusted the clipboard in her hands, "He doesn't view them as a potential threat."
He wouldn't. Zim was arrogant enough to think he was untouchable, "Do you think they pose a danger?"
She shrugged, "At their current caliber, no."
Dib pushed himself away from the rail, sorting details in his head. Where were the Resisty? Could they ever get strong enough to over throw the Empire? Dib found his heart beating excitedly – this might be the escape he was looking for. He could take revenge for all the destroyed races, including his own. He could make a difference in the world; he could finally pave his own way again.
He started out of his thoughts, his eyes flicked to her expression a brief moment before he turned from her, starting down the steps with a quick gait – intent on getting to his chambers, "I'm going to my room, I don't want to be disturbed."
She took a quick step towards him, "But Taller Dib, I needed—"
"Tomorrow." He said carelessly over his shoulder, "I promise." With that, he rounded the corner, cutting out of sight of Tenn as he hurried down the corridor that led to his personal chambers.
It didn't take him too long to get to the other side of the ship, coming upon his door he quickly entered the code and granted himself access. As the door 'swished' shut behind him he made his way to his bed in three quick strides, plopping himself down on the large round mattress as he scooted towards the night table.
He scrounged in the drawer for an electronic writing pad and stylus, quickly jotting down what Tenn had told him earlier along with his own pressing questions. He needed to find out everything he could about the Resisty, he needed to contact them and get off this ship as quickly as he could.
Dib's fingers shook as he wrote, unsure just how much time he would have to himself. Every now and again his amber eyes would flick to the door, nervous that Zim would come barging in at any moment.
This was technically his room – coated in subtle blues and grays, whereas the rest of the ship was decorated with harsh red and pinks. It was supposed to be his place, he should be the only one allowed to enter, but Zim had declared ownership of everything and everyone on the vessel. Zim was allowed to go wherever he pleased, including Dib's chamber whenever he felt like it, so it wouldn't be unusual to have the Irken stalk right in without a moment's notice.
Dib nibbled the end of the mechanical pen, surveying the scribbling on the notepad before he tossed it to the bed and started over to his closet. He threw open the doors, his gaze flicking down the rows of custom Tallest robes and armor down to the very end where his original Earth wardrobe hung.
He reached out and touched the smooth sleeve of his trench coat, fingering the end of it. Could he really do this? Abandon Zim, abandon the Empire?
He let out a shaky breath, aware of just how hard his heart was beating. Zim deserved to taste defeat, the Empire would just continue to rule the universe with an iron fist unless someone was brave enough to stand up.
The Resisty were out there trying their best to combat the Irken Armada. He should be out there helping. He didn't belong here—
Dib started to the sound of his door opening, quickly slamming the closet door shut the moment Zim stepped into the room, "Get out." He snapped, pointing towards the door as he tried to keep up his irritated façade.
Zim casually stood before the human, his red eyes narrow, "I'm not leaving until you vow yourself to the Empire," A slow smirk spread across his lips, "And to me."
He frowned, trying to keep calm, "Just get out Zim, I'm not in the mood for this."
"Not in the mood?" Zim stalked towards Dib in a rush, grabbing the human up by his shoulders as he slammed him into the wall, "I wasn't in the mood for your backtalk in the control room either," He hissed, his face inches from Dib's, "This is your own fault."
Dib yipped in surprise as Zim shoved him up against the wall, his hands instantly clamping down on the Irken's thin wrists, trying to shove him away, "Stop acting so god damn tough," He yelled, kicking out at the alien, "I'm never going to vow myself to you, or this stupid Empire!"
Zim growled in frustration, flinching to the kicks to his chest before he wheeled around, throwing Dib onto the mattress like a sack of used laundry, "You will." He said in a deathly calm tone, his claws flexing as he took deliberately slow steps towards the prone Earth child.
Dib instantly started up the mattress the moment he had landed, gaining his wits quickly as he scrambled into the headboard, his amber eyes incensed, "Never."
The Irken kneeled onto the mattress, claws digging into the soft blue comforter as he drew himself closer to his prey, "You forget that I'm the one in control here," Zim said easily, "You have two choices." He continued as he reached out and grabbed Dib's ankle, yanking the man under him in one quick movement, "You can live the rest of your life as a slave in the holding chambers," Zim said in that low hissing tone, "Or," He grappled with Dib's flailing limbs, pinning him easily as he straddled his waist, forcing the fragile Earthling to lay prone under him, "You can submit to me." He leaned down, his lips just barely running under Dib's jaw, his scarlet eyes mere slits as he surveyed Dib's profile.
Dib's muscles flexed hard under his skin but he could yield nothing from Zim's hold; his wrists bound easily over his head, his lower half rendered useless by Zim's sheer weight. Dib's breathing was ragged – his amber eyes narrowed as he glared hotly up to his captor, "I'd rather be a slave than submit to you."
"Mm~" Zim purred, running his tongue along the human's jugular, tasting that stinging flavor of sweat, "Whatever choice you make," Zim's antennae perked up just slightly as he nibbled down Dib's neck, "You will submit, one way or another."
Dib's eyes fluttered, his breath hitched to the feeling of Zim's segmented tongue against his sensitive throat, "I-I won't." His tone lacked strength, frustrating him.
Zim's antennae twitched, amused by Dib's resistance. He shifted his body, forcing Dib's legs apart as he rested between them, his claws still held Dib's wrists firm, but the curved talons began to knead his flesh in a mockingly tender gesture, "This is pointless," Zim murmured in a sickly sweet tone, nibbling at the base of Dib's throat, "Who are you doing this for?"
Dib squirmed, arching up in an attempt to buck Zim off only to manage to grind them together; a groan was hidden under a frustrated growl, hating his traitorous body. "For all those innocent people you—" Dib gasped as sharp teeth whispered against the flesh of his throat, his gold eyes fluttered, "Y-you're killing."
"No," Zim said casually, smirking to the reactions he coaxed from the stubborn human. Zim secured Dib's wrists with one hand, his other roaming down the man's chest, diving under his clothes to rake against naked skin, hooking his hip to force Dib to grind up into him. The Irken purred, low and deep, his ruby eyes dark with intent, "You're doing this for yourself," He cooed, biting at the shirt collar, ripping it under serrated teeth, the fabric giving easily in one thick shred, exposing milky white skin, "You just want to try and be the hero again," He goaded, nipping roughly at Dib's collar, "But that story is over, there are only villains here."
"You're wrong," Dib said, his heavy-lidded gaze watching as the Irken made his way down his body, lips and teeth raking over every new patch of skin he uncovered, that rogue hand running under the hem of his formal skirt, dipping a bit too low but Dib refused to be distracted, "You're the murderer, you need to be stopped and I—" Zim bit hard on his stomach, the pain flowered into a wicked bruise as gnashing teeth stole Dib's train of thought; Dib couldn't help the whimper that buried in his throat, his legs uselessly jerking in response, trying to kick but the weight of the Irken held them to the mattress.
"And you think you're going to stop me?" Zim mocked, his tongue running sensually over the bruise he created.
"I have to—"
Zim shifted his weight, leaning against Dib's torso, his red eyes almost curious as he gazed up at Dib's pinched expression, "Why do you have to?"
Dib's amber eyes flicked to Zim's expression, attempting to tame his breathing as the Irken offered him this rare reprieve, "It's the…the right thing to do."
Zim grinned, "The right thing?" He snorted, "Foolish human, there is no such thing as morals here." His nails dug into the flesh of Dib's wrist, his free hand itching along the human's thigh, "You don't know what you have here human, what I have offered you so selflessly."
Goosebumps rose on Dib's exposed flesh, his tongue darted nervously to whet his lips, "What have you offered?"
Zim leaned towards Dib's collar, gently he ran his lips along the curve, up the arch of the man's neck, finally resting in a tender kiss on his jaw, "Zim has offered you power, conquest, adventure, glory—"
"I don't want those things," Dib cut in, his tone breathless, "I've never wanted—"
"And most important of all," Zim continued easily, ignoring Dib's outburst, "Zim has offered himself."
Dib's breath hitched, his skin flushed with heat, his fingers flexed uselessly as he avoided Zim's eyes.
"You will not deny me." Zim purred, nipping along Dib's jaw, his free hand working Dib's skirt open, his claws snaking along his inner thigh, teasingly ghosting across Dib's awakened need.
Dib lay with his back to Zim, blankets slung haphazardly across his still naked frame. His cooling sweat caused him to shiver but he refused to move closer to the alien still occupying his space, refused to look at him as he stared hard at the wall in front of him.
Zim shifted, scooting up to sit up against the headboard, his sharp red eyes resting on the gangly human. His gaze followed the curve of Dib's shoulder, eyeing the pure white skin and the new red blemishes that broke the milky color. "Dib," Zim snapped gruffly, not fatigued at all from their play. He reached out, claws barely ghosting along Dib's exposed arm, "Get up." His tone was harder than his touch.
Dib flinched to Zim's claws as they pranced along his settling bruises. He hated Zim, he hated Zim with everything he had yet he couldn't stop himself—he couldn't, "No." Dib murmured, his tone hoarse and irritated, "Just get out."
Zim grinned, that snappy tone igniting a new fire in him, "Dib-thing, it was not a request," In that instant he yanked the blankets from the human, throwing them in a heap across the room.
Dib sucked in a breath and curled inward, trying to ignore the rush of cool air and the fact that Zim stole the pillows as well, "I'm not getting up." He grunted stubbornly, but in the back of his mind he knew this was a losing fight. Obviously Zim got whatever the fuck he wanted, when he wanted. Dib wilted, pinching his eyes shut as he listened to Zim scoot off the bed, his feet quiet on the floor.
Zim busied himself with putting on his clothes, glancing lazily over at Dib, "You have ten minutes to meet me in the command room." He said loftily.
"Or what?" Dib scoffed.
Zim didn't respond, his mood was much too high. Without a backwards glance he left the room, the quiet hiss of the door the only indication to Dib that he had finally left him in peace.
With Zim gone, Dib finally sat up, glaring at the door before he groped the night table for his glasses. He stepped from the bed and began to dress himself, the familiar weight of fabric eased the tension in his stomach, lessened the pooling unease from his insides.
Despite everything that happened, for everything that Zim was doing, that Zim continued to do, Dib couldn't stop his body from reacting, his mind from thinking about Zim.
It wasn't fair.
Dib wasn't sure why, or was even sure what to name it, it couldn't be love. Unless love had turned into this tiny vicious barbed seed that seemed to root around his insides whenever Zim was near him.
No, it wasn't.
This was merely years of isolation; loneliness. That was all it was, nothing else.
Obviously it wasn't anything on Zim's end, Dib was property, and of course he wouldn't want to see his property owned or taken by anyone else.
Dib looked longingly at his note, then swept his gaze to the closet where his original clothes hung.
He could still do it…
But just as quickly as the thought pranced through his brain it was gone again.
What was out there for him? He'd just be fighting for another ideal, one that may seem noble, but destroying Zim, destroying this Empire, was that worth it? Siding with strange aliens and fighting their cause, was that really so much better than staying with Zim?
What it came down to was loyalty; what Zim had been preaching to him all along.
Saving alien races, or destroying them, that was ultimately his choice.
Dib ignored the bite of pain in his spine as he stepped beyond his room, down the bleak hallway towards the command chamber. His body was working on autopilot, his mind still racing a mile a minute as he attempted to come to terms with his situation, to what he really wanted.
As he stepped into the circular chamber his eyes fell on Zim, relaxed in his curved chair, his claret eyes flicking to Dib's flat gaze. The Irken gestured widely, "C'mere," He nearly cooed, a grin on his lips.
The drones around the room continued their work, antennae perked to their leader, but their eyes were trained on the multiple computer screens.
Dib frowned just slightly, though found himself drawn to Zim. He stepped up the platform towards the Tallest, getting within a foot of him, about to settle in his own chair when Zim grabbed his wrist and tugged him into his lap. Dib yelped, "Zim—"
"Quiet," Zim hissed, forcing Dib to settle, "I want you to do something for me." He continued, his lips pressed to the shell of Dib's ear, his hand reaching down the length of the human's arm to tease the underside of his wrist.
Dib flushed, his legs hiked up over the armrest, settled a little uncomfortably in Zim's lap. What happened to discretion in front of the crew? Dib tried to turn his head from the alien when he felt those plush lips on his ear but Zim's opposite hand reached up, talons hooking along his jaw to keep his head in place. His gaze was set on the windshield in front of them and the transparent images that glowed against it. It was the same image before, Silva, only this time the planet was bigger, almost superimposed against the one they were currently hovering in front of.
Apparently they had made it to the once distant planet.
Dib swallowed thickly as Zim's hand latched more firmly around his wrist, "What?" He murmured in a flat tone, though he had an idea of what Zim had in mind; his heart started to race.
"I just want you to give the command," He purred, his breath hot on Dib's neck, "Prove your loyalty to me and this Empire."
Dib tensed, "You want me to—"
"Destroy this planet." Zim finished almost impatiently.
"I can't." Dib choked, unable to squirm in Zim's grasp.
"You can Dib, and you will." His growl nearly a purr, "You will because you belong to me, belong to this Empire, and every species out there, everyone one of them, is waiting to be destroyed for this Empire." Zim said with sick delight.
"Dib," Zim nipped the human's neck, "Do you care about me?"
Dib flushed, though his lack of answer was proof enough.
"Do you care about this," Zim waved his hand, "Planet and its icky creatures?"
His morality cared, his views cared, but did he personally care? Dib knew he should, a good person would, but that wasn't the problem. Zim was trying to force him to become like him, to have blood on his hands—
To be an equal to him.
Zim was offering him equality in this murderously sadistic way.
It was a testament to how much Zim cared, even if he never said it, even if he barely showed it—he was finally allowing Dib the chance to become his equal, this was why he pulled him into his lap, why he lavishly displayed their relationship amidst all the crew. Before it would have been unseemly, but if they were on equal grounds, if they were actually mates—
Dib faltered at the rush of comprehension. He looked over to Zim, those deep red eyes holding a possessive sort of compassion. Dib's mind went blank and he gave the command, "Destroy the planet."
The drone didn't hesitate, their fingers quick on the keys, the clacking muted as the organic sweeper cannon prepared, the vibration of it shaking the entire ship.
Zim was beyond pleased, nibbling down Dib's neck to his collar, "Good human."
As the cannon exploded towards the planet, the bright white beam nearly blinding as it destroyed all life—
Dib didn't feel regret for his decision, didn't feel a thing at all for the dying alien races.
He had finally become what Zim had always wanted him to be, his complete equal, another villain for the oppressed species to rise up and fight.